National Unity Day
About Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel
● Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel – dubbed as the Iron Man of India – was one of the top senior
leaders of the Indian National Congress (INC). He became India’s first Deputy Prime
Minister after the Independence in 1947.
● He was also appointed as the first Home Minister of Independent India. Besides this,
he also oversaw the ministry of information and ministry of states. Sardar
Vallabhbhai Patel led the integration of more than 500 princely states into India
before and after the country got its independence from British rule.
● Initially, he wasn’t interested in politics but after meeting Gandhiji in Godhra in 1917, he
quit his job and joined INC and became party’s secretary of the Gujarat Sabha.
● During the time of plagues and famines in India, he joined the movement to fight for
exemption of taxes in Kheda at Gandhi’s call.
● He was an instrumental part of Gandhi’s Non-Cooperation Movement. He travelled
extensively around West India in order to recruit 3,00,000 members. He also collected
over Rs 1.5 million for the party fund.
● He spread awareness across the nation extensively against untouchability, caste
discrimination, alcohol consumption, and for women empowerment.
● During the imprisonment of Mahatma Gandhi, Patel led the Satyagraha movement in
Nagpur in 1923, which was against the British law of banning the hoisting of the Indian
● He earned the title ‘Sardar’ at the Bardoli Satyagraha in Gujarat in 1928.
● To honour Sardar Vallabhbhai Patel legacy, ‘Statue of Unity’ – world’s tallest statue- was
unveiled in 2018. It is located on the banks of Narmada river in Gujarat.
Why in News?
● National Unity Day (Rashtriya Ekta Diwas) is celebrated in India on 31 October. It was
introduced by the Government of India in 2014. The day is celebrated to mark the birth
anniversary of Sardar patel who had a major role in the political integration of India.